A Guide to Eco-Friendly RVing

Motorhome in Chilean Argentine mountain Andes. Family trip travel vacation on Motorhome RV in Andes

RVing, especially if you’re full-time RVing, is all about living a smaller and more focused life. While this doesn’t directly translate to living a more eco-friendly lifestyle, it can very easily become that.

When you RV, you’re closer to nature. Usually, the whole point of RVing and camping is to get closer to nature. You want to go hiking, hunting, fishing, kayaking, mountain biking, or participate in some other outdoor activity.

The same drive that will push you out into the natural world can also push you to want to live a greener life, one that is more at peace with nature and has an overall smaller footprint on the world. But how do you do it and what exactly is it? Let’s dig into the idea of eco-friendly RVing and see how you can live that lifestyle.

What Exactly Is Eco-Friendly RVing?

Image from Gander

Eco-friendly RVing is RVing in a way that has as little negative impact on the environment as is possible. You’re trying your best to not alter or damage the natural world around you.

This can come in many forms and at many different levels. You can go the route of trying to take this to the extreme and not damaging the environment at all, or you can take a softer approach and just make sure you leave no trace when you leave a specific campground and do your best to not create much waste or use too many resources.

Literally everything you do when camping can be done in an eco-friendly way or not. Washing dishes, cooking food, disposing of trash or unwanted materials, and powering your RV are all perfect examples.

If you want to live an eco-friendly life while RVing you need to take the necessary steps to ensure that your actions and activities don’t negatively impact the world around you.

Tips for Being an Eco-Friendly RVer

What is boondocking? How to find boondocking spots?
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So, now that you know what eco-friendly RVing is, how do you practice it? Well, there are literally hundreds of ways. I could write an entire book showing in great detail how you could live life in your RV in an eco-friendly manner.

Instead of doing that, I’m going to focus on highlighting some of the most important things that you can do. Here we go!

Boondock More

Boondocking is the act of camping away from sewer, water, and electrical hookups. You can boondock in the middle a field or forest way out in the wilderness, or you can boondock in your backyard or in a friend’s driveway.

No matter how you choose to do it, just know that the fact that you’re not sucking up electrical power is a good thing.

This type of camping is also known as dry camping or disperesed camping. Even if you like to stay in conventional campgrounds, you can still boondock. This means you can get a campsite that doesn’t have electrical, water, and sewer hookups. Not only will you be helping conserve energy and be eco-friendly, but you’ll also likely save money on a campsite.

Update and Better Manage Your Electronics

Another good thing to do is to update your RV’s electronics. Every RV is going to be different here. You can make an effort to upgrade or change your electronics so that you use less electrical power.

With that said, even the most basic RVs will have lights. One great thing to do there is to upgrade all lighting to LEDs. Your lights will use less energy this way.

Also, you can focus on energy efficient electronics and appliances. This is especially important if your RV is on the older side. Newer applicances and electronics will likely use less power, and you can even shop for products that are labled as energy efficient, which should cut down on the amount of power you use.

Other than updating, you can just make sure to manage your electronic use better. Do you really need the TV on as often? What about all of your lights? Is that space heater necessary? Keep all of these things in mind and try hard to use electronics less often.

Add Solar Panels

Solar panels can go a long way towards making boondocking possible and easier. When you can use and harness solar power, you can keep boondocking longer and more often. Solar panel kits can be purchased at Gander stores, and the service team will even install them for you.

Before buying, think critically about your electrical power needs. Look at the electricity uses of the things you use when camping and then focus on getting a solar panel setup that can supply your needs. This is easier said than done in some cases, but it’s better than going in blind.

You might also find that you need to add more solar panels down the road. This is doable, so keep track of your energy usage and think about how you can be sure to get as much solar energy as possible.

Use Low Flow Faucets and Shower Heads

Water consumption is a huge part of living an eco-friendly RVing life. Even if you’re super concious about your water usage, you can save yourself a lot of wasted water by installing low-flow faucets and shower heads.

I know some folks don’t like them, but if you’re serious about living an eco-friendly life, then you should really make the effort to make them work. They will help reduce the amount of water you use each and every day.

Cook Over a Campfire

Cooking uses a lot of heat and heat doesn’t come out of nowhere. Most RVs use either propane or electricity to power the appliances that cook food, but there is another option, your campfire.

I know it’s not the most convenient, but cooking over a campfire is eco-friendly, especially if you’re going to have one going anyway. It can also be a lot of fun to do and a learning experience for all involved.

There are plenty of recipes out there for cooking over a campfire, and if you have a good cast iron skillet or dutch oven, the possibilities are essentially endless.

Use Biodegradeable Items and Products

It’s not just about what you do but the things you bring with you and use. The next time you go shopping for everyday items, focus on buying eco-friendly products.

Get things that are packaged with recyclable materials and focus on biodegradable products. This goes for everything from the soaps you use to the cleaning supplies you buy to the food you bring along with you.

Every little thing matters, so take a little extra time to find the products that work for you and have the least negative impact on the environment.

Do you practice eco-friendly RVing? If so, how? If not, why not? Leave a comment below!

A guide to eco-friendly RVing


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